The interaction between ambient air pollution and asthma medication remains unclear. The authors compared airway inflammation response to air pollution among asthmatics. Increases of 10 ppb of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and of 10 μg/m3 of particulate matter < 10 micron in diameter (PM10) daily concentrations were associated with an increase in exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) of 0.13 ppb (95% confidence interval = 0.06, 0.19) and of 0.07 ppb (95% confidence interval = 0.02, 0.12), respectively, in models adjusted for important covariates. The results show that the medication could not counteract airway inflammation effects of air pollution. Specifically, the patients on triamcinolone decreased the sensitivity to PM10 but increased the sensitivity to O2. The patients on salmeterol were more vulnerable to both NO2 and PM10. This study indicates that the current pollution levels may still enhance airway inflammation among patients with persistent asthma even when they are on asthma medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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